Earthquake swarms around world increase, as the Earth Wobble picks up the pace. This can be seen in what has unfolded in the month of February alone.
Quake swarms shook countries around the world: Santa Cruz Islands, Utah and Arkansas in the US, several provinces in southern China, Hawke’s Bay in New Zealand, and Peru’s Sabancaya volcano.
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What is an earthquake swarm?
An earthquake swarm is a local area event, where sequences of many earthquakes strike in a relatively short time period. The time used to define the swarm varies. An event may last for hours, days, weeks, or months.
- On Feb 6, a 8.0 quake at the Santa Cruz Islands was followed by 118 quakes between magnitude 4.7 and 7.1, all within 48 hours. This pace continued for days. Source
- Beginning on Feb 7, an earthquake swarm rattled southern Utah over a three-day period. More than a dozen small earthquakes hit near Cedar City. The quake cluster ranged in magnitude from just under 1.0 to 3.7.
- On Feb 12, Nevada experienced a swarm consisting of at least 18 quakes.
- On Saturday, Feb 18-19, in Arkansas, quake swarm activity (at least 700) occurred about 100 miles to the west SW of the southernmost tip of the New Madrid Fault.
- On Feb 19-20 in China, quake swarms were experienced from Tuesday morning to Wednesday afternoon in Hunan, Yunnan, Guangxi, and Sichuan Provinces, the main areas affected. Sichuan had eight in one day, three of which were of magnitude 4.0.
- On Saturday, Feb 23, a 4.8 magnitude quake hit after a quake swarm off Hawke's Bay in New Zealand. Dozens of earthquakes were recorded in a 24-hour period.
Earthquake swarms also precede volcanic eruptions.
On Feb 26 Sabancaya, one of Peru’s most active volcanoes, set off hundreds of earthquakes in just a few days, accompanied by rumbling and plumes of smoke. Previously on Feb 22 and 23, Peru's geological agency Ingemmet recorded 536 quakes, about 20 an hour, with periodic movement ongoing. Source
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